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Hanoi Itinerary

5 Days Itinerary Hanoi: What to do in Hanoi for 5 Days?

Here’s some tips for you

  1. No more than 3 days in Hanoi city.
  2. Only one day for Halong Bay can be a bit short
  3. For all the places in Hanoi ( Hanoi Old Quarter, French Quarter, City), you can consider doing a Hanoi free tour with Local university students.
  4. For 6 days in Hanoi you can spend more time for Halong Bay (2 days 1 night)
  5. 7 days in Hanoi, it is worthy thinking about one another option for Sapa as below detailed

If you are planning less than 3 days in Hanoi, Here is for you: 2 days in Hanoi

Or just click and get advice from our experts!

5 Days Itinerary Hanoi or Things to do in Hanoi for 5 Days? How do you plan these 5 days?

You know Hanoi is full of amazing attractions. And you have 5 days to spend here in Hanoi.

You’re excited to pack it up and make a Hanoi 5 days itinerary.

You can get Free Advice on Your Itinerary by filling in the form. Local Supporter will contact and help you out with the customized Itinerary (Based on your travel style and budget.

You don’t know what to do ? I will break it down day by day—all the things you can possibly do in 5 days—to create the best Hanoi itinerary for 5 days.

Hanoi The Old Quater
Hanoi The Old Quarter Walking Tour

The 5 days Hanoi itinerary includes things to do both:

  • In Hanoi
  • Out of Hanoi ( Halong Bay, Ninh Binh or other options)

This way, you can make the most out of your experience—with 5 days in Hanoi. by see the

you will chat directly with local guides, she will help you out.

Summary Itinerary for 5, 6, 7 days in Hanoi, North Vietnam

The summary 5 days Itinerary:

Option 1:

  • Day 1: Hanoi Old Quarter And French Quarter
  • Day 2: Hanoi City Sightseeing
  • Day 3: Halong Bay
  • Day 4: Go to Ninh Binh
  • Day 5: Back to Hanoi

Option 2:

  • Day 1: Hanoi Old Quarter And French Quarter
  • Day 2: Hanoi City Sightseeing
  • Day 3: Halong Bay (2 days)
  • Day 5: Back to Hanoi


  1. No more than 3 days in Hanoi city. (1 day for Halong Bay can be a bit short)
  2. For all the places in Hanoi ( Hanoi Old Quarter, French Quarter, City), you can consider doing Hanoi free tours with Local university students.
  3. If you are planning less than 3 days in Hanoi, Here is for you: 2 days in Hanoi
  4. the best way to enjoy Ninh Binh is taking a day trip from Hanoi from AZ Local Trip See Ninh Binh Tours and request them for more advice on the location you are going to do

The summary 6 days Itinerary:

Option 1: 2 days in Hanoi, 2 days in Halong Bay, 2 days in Sapa) 

  • Day 1: Hanoi Arrival (Free Old Quarter Walking Tour with Local volunteers)
  • Day 2: Hanoi – Halong bay day trip
  • Day 3: Halong Bay – Hanoi street food tours with AZlocal NPO
  • Day 4: From Hanoi to Sapa (Lao Cai – Sapa – Cat Cat Village)
  • Day 5: Sapa – Muong Hoa Valley – Lao Chai – Ta Van — To Hanoi at night.
  • Day 6: Hanoi City around Free and Easy day (Detailed below)

The first option covers Hanoi, Halong Bay, Sapa. But if you are in a group with elders and kids, this itinerary will not be highly recommended. To explore Sapa, you have to walk or trek a lot down the roads and villages and this might be difficult for kids and elders. It also takes a lot of time to go to Sapa (by train or shuttle bus) so this itinerary is a little bit rushed. Young people and adventurous souls might be suitable for this trip.

Option 2: 3 days in Hanoi, 2 days in Halong Bay, 1 day in Ninh Binh 

  • Day 1 – Arrive in Hanoi (Hanoi Old Quarter, Hanoi Nightlife)
  • Day 2 – Hanoi – Halong Bay – Overnight on cruise
  • Day 3 – Halong Bay – Back to Hanoi
  • Day 4 – Hanoi Around the City (Ho Chi Minh Complex, Hanoi Citadel, Temple of literature) + French Quarter + Enjoy Foods to prepare for the next day
  • Day 5 – Ninh Binh Day Trip: Hoa Lu – Tam Coc
  • Day 6 – Hanoi Free & Easy day

We would highly recommend this itinerary with groups of elders and kids or those who want a relaxing trip. The itinerary is not too rushed but you also can experience the most out of 3 destinations.

The summary 7 days Itinerary:

Option 1: Hanoi – Halong Bay – Ninh Binh (4 days in Hanoi, 3 days in Halong Bay, 1 days in Ninh Binh)

  • Day 1: Hanoi Arrival
  • Day 2: Hanoi Tour  (Free tours with local volunteers)
  • Day 3: Ninh Binh
  • Day 4, 5: Halong Bay
  • Day 6,7: Hanoi

Option 2: Hanoi – Halong Bay – Sapa (2 days in hanoi, 3 days in Sapa, 2 days in Halong Bay)

  • Day 1: Hanoi Arrival
  • Day 2, 3: Halong Bay
  • Day 4,5,6: Sapa
  • Day 7: Hanoi Departure

Option 2 of the 7 days hanoi itinerary covers Hanoi, Halong Bay and Sapa. Sapa is a small town in Northern Vietnam and known for its beautiful ethnic minorities’ villages, spectacular scenery with rice terraces and picturesque valleys. However, visiting Sapa requires you to do some trekking and walking, so that elders and kids should consider in case they cannot do so. Anyways, this tour is relaxable and not rushed as you have much time for enjoying yourself. This itinerary is like option 1, suitable for everyone from groups with elders or kids, families, friends and solo travelers.

5 Days in Hanoi (Detail)

Day 1: Hanoi Old Quarter And French Quarter

You’ve just got to the Old Quarter. You see the crowded street full of people and motorbikes.

You can feel it—the atmosphere of the Old Quarter.  Now it’s time to explore it a little bit.

Old Quater Tours

Hanoi Old Quarter

Have you ever heard of this: “Hanoi has thirty-six streets and guides?” It’s a mixture of both traditional and modern—exciting and relaxing—at the same time.

Things that you can do here:

  1. Walk and sightsee the people and the street
  2. Shop local products
  3. Try street food on the way from local restaurants
Old Quater Map
Follow the map to explore the Old Quarter

Join the mystical adventure through 36 streets and guides:

  • Start: Cau Go Street
  • End: Le Thai To Street

As your exciting exploration is going, remember to look out for the way—the traffic can get crazy sometimes.

Now let’s move to…

Sightsee Sword Lake

What is the most popular attraction in hanoi—the one that everyone in Hanoi must know?

It’s impossible for you to visit Hanoi without knowing—or seeing the Sword Lake.

Hoan Kiem Lake
Hoan Kiem Lake – Symbol of Hanoi

Things that you can do here:

  • Sit on the rock chair and sightsee Sword Lake
  • Take photos.

The scenery in Hoan Kiem Lake is always magnificent no matter the weather.

After that you can visit…

 Ngoc Son Temple

Ngoc Son Temple
Ngoc Son Temple on Sword Lake

Ngoc Son Temple is just a few steps away from Sword Lake. It’s on Sword Lake, once you cross the Red Bridge.

Hanoi French Quarter

Visit the Opera House, The Opera house is the feat of French architects.

Once you come here, you can learn a lot about the history—also observe the astounding construction inside.

Things that you can do here are:

  • Observe the magnificent architectural construction by the French.
  • Learn about history. You will learn about the reason behind the creation of the Opera House.
  • Watch the performance. Here in the Opera house—you can see one of the most amazing traditional performances—by the most talented people in the country.

Located on Trang Tien Street, it won’t take you a long time to get here from the Old Quarter:

  • Address: 01 Trang Tien Street
  • Price: 400,000 VND(~$18)/ticket

And now, you will…

Visit Long Bien Bridge

Long Bien Bridge
Long Bien Bridge is Vietnamese history’s witness for more than 100 years

If you love learning about history—then Long Bien Bridge is a must-see.

Things you can do here are:

  1. Learn about history.

Long Bien Bridge is the witness of a hundred years of history. Here you will learn about the amazing stories behind this attraction.

    2.Watch the sunset and take photos. Watching the sunset from the bridge is wonderful.

It crosses the most well-known river in Hanoi—the Red River.

From The Opera House, it’s only takes 10 minutes by Taxi:

  • Address: Next to Long Bien Station

At Night

Drink Beer In Ta Hien Street

It’s very exciting and fun during the day in the Old Quarter. You got it. What about the night?

Even better. At night, the street is full of people coming to all the bars in the Old Quarter to chill and relax.

Things that you can do:

Drink beer and cheer with the other

Ta Hien Street
Ta Hien Street – Hanoi’s best entertainment district

Drink some bia hoi (vietnamese craft beer) on Ta Hien or Luong Ngoc Quyen while sitting and chilling on the sidewalk with other people.

You can make some friends with other foreigners

  • Address: Ta Hien Street and Luong Ngoc Quyen Street or
  • Price: 50,000 VND (~$2.3)/bottle

Day 2: Hanoi City Sightseeing

After one exciting day. You just can’t get enough of Hanoi.

Want to experience more? Let’s go, shall we?

Visit Ho Chi Minh Complex

Interested in history, architecture and sightseeing? You have to visit Ho Chi Minh Complex—a must see in Hanoi.

Ho Chi Minh Complex
Ho Chi Minh Complex
  1. See Flag Ritual.

If you arrive early then you can see the flag ritual here—at 6 am.

  1. Visit Ba Dinh Square

See 240 squares of grass. Learn about the glorious history of Vietnam.

  1. Visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.

Here, you can see the image of our great president Ho Chi Minh.

  1. Visit One Pillar Pagoda

One pillar Pagoda is the signature of Vietnamese Culture.  It has the best designs and scenery in Hanoi. An ancient and elegant pagoda on top of a lotus lake—it’s extremely beautiful.

Coming here, you can sight-see the wonderful view of the pagoda.

From Ho Chi Minh Complex—One Pillar Pagoda is only 4 minutes walking from there:

  • Address: Doi Can Street
  • Price: Free

Imperial Citadel of Thang Long

If you like ancient history—you can not miss the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long.

The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long was recognized as UNESCO World Heritages in 2010.

To see Imperial Citadel of Thang Long:

  • Address: Quan Thanh Street
  • Time: 8AM-12:30PM, 13:30PM-17PM
  • Price: 30.000 VND (~$1.3)

Now it’s time to…

Visit Temple Of Literature

Temple of Literature is the first University of Vietnam. Therefore, needless to say the culture and historical beauty of this attraction.

Temple of literature
Temple of literature

Sightsee the historical and cultural beauty

Temple of Literature is only 7 minutes from Imperial Citadel of Thang Long: 

  • Address: Quoc Tu Giam Street
  • Time: 8:30-11:30 & 11:30-16:30
  • Price: 30,000 VND (~$1.3)/Ticket

At Night

Water puppet Theater Show

Interested in traditional Vietnamese art? Then you should go see a water puppet theater show. It’s Unique Vietnamese traditional art.

It describes daily life of Vietnamese farmers, entertainment with people (swimming contest, dragon dancing,…) or historical legends

It tells stories about:

  • Vietnamese farmers life
  • Communal entertainment of vietnamese (swimming contest, dragon dancing,…)
  • Historical legends (The Return of Sword on Sword Lake,…)
Thang Long Puppetry Show:
Thang Long Puppetry Show – Traditional Show in Vietnam

Thang Long Puppetry Show:

  • Address: 57B Dinh Tien Hoang Street
  • Price: 100,000 VND/pax ($4.5) + 30,000 VND ($1.4)/cup of coffee

Day 3: Halong Bay ( 2 days) 

You’ve made the most out of your time in Hanoi in those 2 days.

Now…. It’s time for a fresh experience. It’s time to taste the saltiness of the sea.

And no other place can beat Ha Long bay for its beauty.

HaLong Bay
HaLong Bay – Wonder of Vietnam

Go to Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay is located in Quang Ninh, 160km in Hanoi so it would take 4 hours by bus.

On the way to Ha Long, you can sightsee and take pictures of the Red River.

Sightsee and eat lunch on Junk Boat

Get on a junk boat, a beautiful sun deck, lie in bed and enjoy the magnificent scenery of the bay.

Things you can do:

  1. Sunbathe
  2. Have lunch on Board.

Coming to HaLong Bay without tasting the fresh seafood would be a waste. Trust me. You wouldn’t want to miss it.

  • Note: If you visit HaLong Bay for 2 days, you will lose 1 day in Hanoi or 1 day in Ninh Binh.


Want to exercise a little bit? Try kayaking.

Kayaking and sightseeing the beautiful bay of a thousand year old island is a one of a kind experience you can’t forget.

Halong Bay
Halong Bay is a must visit destination in Vietnam

Things you can do:

  1. Kayak to Thien Son Cung Cave.

Thien Son Cung Cave is a must see. It has a magnificent view.

Thien Cung Cave
Thien Cung Cave is the wonder of HaLong Bay
  1. Take some photos of the wonderful scenery.

Day 4: Go to Ninh Binh

Yesterday you had a great time in Ha Long Bay. And for today—we will visit Halong Bay again!?

Trang An Ninh Binh
Trang An Ninh Binh – A wonderland you will drop your jaw

Wait, but this time… It’s Halong Bay on land. It’s called Trang An Complex. Trang An was listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014—needless to say the beauty of this place.

Trang An is located in Ninh Binh. It takes 3 hours by bus from Giap Bat bus station. You can totally arrive and leave at the same time.

A few tips:

  • Bring some extra clothing—going to the caves will be cold.
  • Sneaker and a little bit of food to snack on the way.
  • Best way to enjoy Ninh Binh is taking a day trip from Hanoi (Would love to recommend Ninh Binh one day tours by AZ Local Trip because of their careful recommendation before the tours)

You had a long day. It’s time for you to rest.

Day 5: Back to Hanoi

Visit Bat Trang Pottery Village

Bat Trang pottery village is one of the most well known traditional handicraft villages.

Local artisans who use both traditional and modern techniques to create beautiful porcelain artworks.

Bat Trang Pottery Village is 13km Southeast of Hanoi. To get there you can use a day tour or bus.

Things you can do here are:

  1. Purchase ceramic products

You can purchase the finest handmade ceramic products—vases, bowld, cups and plates.

Bat Trang Village
Bat Trang Village is famous for their pottery products
  • Address:  Bat Trang Village, Bat Trang commune
  • Price:100.000-200000 VND ($5-10)/piece
  1. Create your own ceramic products.

You can create your own product by  joining a workshop. It’s an amazing experience.

  • Address:  Bat Trang local workshop, Bat Trang Village, Bat Trang Commune
  • Price:25.000 VND (~$1)/session

In The Afternoon

Shop around

Want to keep some memories of this trip? Want to buy some gifts for friends and family?

This is the chance for you to do—buy shopping around Hanoi. Hanoi has a lot of things you can purchase including traditional food and products

At Night

It’s time for you to wrap it up and prepare for departing tomorrow. But if you still have some spare time then you can…

Let’s have a great time in Hanoi.

Cause time waits for no one.

Day 6 or day 7 (Hanoi, North Vietnam) in case you are going to Plan

Stay longer for Halong Bay for 2 days 1 night, some travelers even choose 3 days 2 nights for Halong Bay ( other time for Hanoi, and Ninh Binh), think about Bai Tu Long (less touristy), or Lan Hạ Bay, instead of Halong Bay (especially from November to February)

For Sapa in case of 7 days itinerary Hanoi

Around 3days – 2nights in Sapa is enough for your trip.

– Visit the local markets: Coc Ly on Tuesday, Lung Khau on Thursday, Can Cau on Saturday and Bac Ha Market is held every Sunday.

– 2 days trekking down to the villages nearby the Sapa town then overnight at the village to get the experience.

– Visit the waterfall or visit the dragon mountain.

Hope this information will help you a little bit.


Author: Quentin Nguyễn


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Hanoi Itinerary

Hanoi 1 day | The best Hanoi itinerary 1 day

Having only one day in Hanoi? With such a tight schedule, I have to admit that it’s hard to explore Hanoi to the fullest.

However, that’s why I’m writing this post. Being Hanoian since the very first day of my life, I love and have a deep understanding of this beautiful city. And for tourists coming to Hanoi for the first time, I’ve listed down what you cannot miss if you only have the best Hanoi 1 day tour, including what to do, what to see and what to eat.

Just follow my local detailed Itinerary for only one day in Hanoi, you will catch a glimpse of Hanoi without tiring yourself out!


Some tourists could not believe that they could get into the mood of a new city in just a day. Therefore, they waste their opportunity of exploring a new local life and experience sleeping in a hotel, waiting for a new flight for a longer vacation.

To avoid this, you can get our Free Advice on Your Itinerary by filling in the form. Local Supporters will contact and help you out with the customized itinerary based on your travel style and budget.

Hanoi Free Local Tours provides travelers with Free Tours guided by Local University Students to make sure that Your day in Hanoi will be really worthy

A traditional showed in Hanoi Old Quarter
A traditional song is showed in Hanoi Old Quarter

Hanoi 1 Day Itinerary Summary

Some notes for you:

  • One day is enough for you to get a taste of local Hanoi. Just do not try to see too much!
  • If you’ve got yourself only 1 Day in Hanoi, it is crucial for you to base yourself near the Old Quarter (Central area of Hanoi)
  • Visit The Old Quarter and Eat Hanoi local food
Hanoi 1 day with a pretty girl
Hanoi 1 day with a pretty girl – a member of Hanoi Free Local Tours

1. In The Morning – Hanoi 1 day tour

Breakfast with Pho

Pho – beef noodle is the most famous and popular dish in Hanoi. We have pho for our breakfast daily which brings us enough energy to start a new day! In other parts of Vietnam, you can also find pho but I promise that the original taste of Hanoi pho is much better!

Pho Hanoi
Pho is the most popular dish for breakfast in Hanoi

Your  24-hour-Hanoi exploration will not miss Pho in your one day trip.

Spend Your Morning in Hanoi Old Quarter

The Old Quarter shows you a different face of Hanoi. It features young and exciting Hanoi covered by an old and ancient Hanoi. As a young local here, I’d prefer to present you both sides of my hometown to feel the real local experience!

In addition, I carefully select the below destinations for your one day in Hanoi. Following the Itinerary, you undoubtedly see Hanoi with vivid local life!

Obviously, it is impossible for you to see all Hanoi offers. However, we suggest starting your days in the city center early to engage deeper in the local life.

Hoan Kiem Lake is a top 1 must-visit destination for tourists and locals in Hanoi. You can take a slow walk around the lake, watch locals doing their first daily activities. Some locals do exercise near the lake, others commune to work and prepare for the coming busy day.

Hoan Kiem Lake
Hoan Kiem Lake

You do not need to walk a full-round around Hoan Kiem Lake but the view from any corner is definitely the same – Amazing. In the center of Hoan Kiem Lake, there is Pen Tower (Thap But) that you might take notice of and question: what is it? It is one of my favorite symbols that represent Vietnam!

Around Hoan Kiem Lake, there are other fascinating spots such as Ngoc Son Temple and The Huc Bridge you should note to visit!

Hanoi Ancient House – Back in time with ancient Hanoi architecture

Hanoi Ancient House was a typical house of Hanoi in the past. It was built in 1010 in the Ly dynasty and is still maintained as a symbol of Vietnamese architecture!

Dong Xuan Market – The biggest indoor market in Hanoi

Local market for both locals and tourists to buy what you need during your stay in Hanoi!

Long Bien Bridge – The oldest bridge in Hanoi & a favorite spot for photography

Long Bien Bridge
Long Bien Bridge – The oldest bridge in Hanoi

The best way to save your time is to be accompanied by a local travel buddy. You can check our Free Local Tour and get yourself ready to join an exciting tour with a Hanoi local!

Lunch with banh mi

Spending your lunch time in a street food store, enjoying banh mi  (Vietnamese bread) is not a bad option. Banh  mi is highlighted on the Top world  cuisine magazine as special, authentic and tasty Vietnamese food.

In Hanoi, we can eat banh mi for breakfast, for lunch or even for dinner. Banh mi is delicious, convenient and …fast-but-healthy-food. I am sure that you could not resist the taste of Hanoi banh mi. Some famous chefs did visit Hanoi to find out the recipe of banh mi.

Banh mi - best dish for your one day in Hanoi
Banh mi – Best dish for your one day in Hanoi

I personally feel proud of “banh mi” and Vietnamese cuisine. It is not just food, but mainly about our sophisticated combination of modern creativity and local knowledge in cuisine.

2. In The Afternoon – Hanoi 1 day tour

Spend Your Afternoon In Hanoi French Quarter

Hanoi French Quarter is another popular place to get into the local spirit of Hanoi. You definitely visit these destinations and enjoy the inspirational lifestyle here!

St. Joseph Cathedral – “Notre Dame de Paris” of Hanoi

A rush walk across St. Joseph Cathedral to visit the fascinating cathedral in Hanoi!

Hanoi Opera House – Neoclassical French architecture featuring Gothic themes

The beautiful Hanoi Opera House was built by the French in 1911. It is the biggest theater in Vietnam and speaks volumes as historical and cultural evidence of Vietnam under French rule.

The interior is even more magnificent than the exterior with many arguing it is aesthetically even more appealing than the Paris Opera House.

Vietnamese Women’s Museum

Vietnamese Women's Museum
Vietnamese Women’s Museum is near to visit

The 3 destinations above could take your whole afternoon. For other choices of attraction 4, 5, 6, see more in French Quarter Hanoi.

In case you still have time?

Other City Sightseeing

If you would like to visit these places below, you need to miss some destinations above or be quite rushed!

If you are not in a rush and tired, you can also spend time exploring the Old Quarter. But, if you are, do not be ambitious to cover every destination!

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum to learn more about local culture and history. If you do not know about my country’s history, no problem! Ho Chi Minh is our former prime minister who is called Uncle Ho. He played a vital role in bringing freedom to Vietnam and revolutionizing the country.

It doesn’t take a lot of time If you visit other close destinations to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum: Ho Chi Minh Museum and One Pillar Pagoda. All these destinations belong to Ho Chi Minh Complex.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, where our free tours most happen

For locals, it is very important to visit “Uncle Ho” for the first time in Hanoi to show your respect to the Uncle of Vietnam.

Temple of Literature

The list of “what to see in hanoi for a day” can not miss Temple of literature

The architecture of the Literature Temple presents strongly the unique Vietnamese culture. Each building has a spiritual meaning and stands for the educational principles of Vietnam in the past.


It is a ritual that we ask from “Ong Do” a word that might be luckiness, health or wealth…All presents the hope of locals to the new year with new success and new good things coming.

3. At Night

Dinner with Bun Cha

Locals love “bun cha”, I love “bun cha”. And you will be sure to love it too! Spend your dinner at a luxury restaurant or even a street store, then order yourself a bow of bun cha. You definitely miss this dish whenever you come home!

Bun cha
“Bun cha” – best dinner ever

Drink beer in Ta Hien Beer Street

Drinking Hanoi beer is not merely for your thrust. It is a Hanoi lifestyle and one of top 41 things to do in Hanoi for any visitors. If you need a travel buddy or a local team to drink with, have a chat on the street, why not contact us now?

Hanoi life night
Hanoi life night-enjoying beer time with locals

If you need any support from Hanoi locals, directly ask questions and book a free local tour to see the truly, novel, resh spirit of local experience for only one day in Hanoi

More about 2 days in Hanoi


Best transportation for Hanoi 1 Day Itinerary

Vietnam is called “motorbike country”. It might be scary for you to first-time see the crowded and complex transportation in Hanoi for the first time. Fortunately, you have many choices to choose your best suitable vehicle to go around the city: Motorbike, Taxi or very convenient Uber/Grab..


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Hanoi Itinerary

Hanoi 4 days Itinerary | Best Hanoi 4 days Itinerary

What is the best Hanoi 4 days itinerary?

What to do for a 4 days itinerary Hanoi? Making an itinerary is definitely a pain in the neck—especially a 4 days Hanoi itinerary.

Today we will create your perfect itinerary—so you can make the most out of your time with an itinerary 4 days in Hanoi.

You can get a Free Advice on Your Itineary by filling in the form. Local Supporter will contact and help you out with the customized Itineary (Based on your travel style and budget)

Otion 1:

  • Day 1: Hanoi Old Quarter And French Quarter
  • Day 2,3 : Halong Bay (2 days)
  • Day 4: Back to Hanoi

Option 2:

  • Day 1: Hanoi Old Quarter And French Quarter
  • Day 2: Halong Bay (1 Day) Or Ninh Binh
  • Day 3.4: Back to Hanoi


Day 1: Start with the Old Quarter 

Where should we first visit in a Hanoi itinerary 4 days?

1.1 In The Morning
1.1.1 Visit the Old Quarter

Let’s start the day with visiting the Old Quarter of Hanoi.

Where should you start?

Start off at Cau Go Street. The best way to explore the Old Quarter is to use a free Hanoi Walking Tours.

This way, you will get young and passionate people walk you through every single corner of the Old Quarter.

Not only will it be easier for you to find the direction—but also better if you want to learn about the history and name of the street.

End your exploration at Le Thai To Street. It’s not the end of the exploration.

Hanoi Old Quarter
Hanoi Old Quarter

The Old Quarter of Hanoi has been existed for a long time, it’s always been a bustling area of the city. This has always been the place for small business and merchants do business.

And this has created the many street with their featured profession and business like Salt street, Sugar street, Cigarette street, Chicken street,…

Now the Old Quarter has been an appealing place for people who want to learn more about Thang Long capital and Hanoi.

People from every corner of the world like Europe, Africa, America and Asia come here to enjoy the traditional food, culture and beauty of Hanoi.

1.1.2 Eat Pho

For the best pho, you can try Pho Gia Truyen at 49 Bat Dan Street. This restaurant is always crowded because they can still keep the delicous and original taste of Vietnam traditional pho. The price is 35,000 VND (US$1.5) for a bowl of Pho.

It’s time to take some rest.

Because in the afternoon we will explore more.

 Pho Bo
Pho Bo is the most popular food of Vietnam

It’s time to try some local food. Throughout the walking, you can stop by and try some traditional food of Vietnam.

The Old Quarter obviously has all kinds of amazing Vietnamese food—that are not only delicious but still can keep their traditional taste.

If you come to Hanoi without trying Pho then it would be a waste. Pho is the most popular traditional food of Vietnam. It’s delicous with noodle, spices, beef and beef soup.

1.2 In The Afternoon
1.2.1 Visit Tran Quoc Pagoda

Take a taxi or Uber to Tran Quoc Pagoda. This is a must see destination on a 4 days itinerary.

It is located on the small peninsula of the West Lake.

Remember to wear formal clothing—no skirts, no shorts. Avoid seemingly rude behaviors like—smoking, taking pictures, crossing arms or speaking too loud.

If you are spiritual, on this itinerary, once you get inside you can do your praying ritual. Walk along the pagoda and see the amazing stones, statues and architecture of the pagoda.

Tran Quoc Pagoda
Tran Quoc Pagoda

If you are interested in spirituality and history—Tran Quoc pagoda is a must see.

The pagoda is considered as the most ancient pagoda in Hanoi with its history line of more than 1,500 years.

In 1962, Tran Quoc pagoda was listed as historical heritage of Vietnam. 

The construction of Tran Quoc pagoda is a architectural feat. It’s located on a only peninsula of the biggest lake in Hanoi—West lake. This makes Tran Quoc pagoda the most beautiful pagoda in Vietnam.

Once you’re hungry, it’s time to..

1.2.2 Eat Banh Tom (Crisp shrimp pastry) and Banh Bot Loc

Go to Thang Long restaurant at No 1 Thanh Nien Street to try the best Banh Tom. This restaurant has been serving Banh Tom and Banh bot loc for a long time. The price will be 100.000 VND ($4.3)/pax

 Banh Tom Ho Tay
Banh Tom Ho Tay – a special treat on Hanoi itinerary

You know what West Lake is also famous for? Banh Tom (Crisp shrimp pastry)

Banh Tom has been the traditional food in the mind of many people living in Hanoi. The main ingredient is shrimp and sweet potato being deep fried in oil—making it so crispy and delicious. This in combination with the sweet and sour fish sauce create the perfect dish.

Banh Bot Loc is also another dish made of Shrimp. With the main ingredients are made of small shrimp, bacon, jew’s ears being put into tapioca powder—Banh bot loc has a strange and yummy texture and taste. It will also be dipped into traditional sweet fish sauce—giving it an amazing taste.

Now once you get some energy…

1.3 At Night
1.3.1 Bike around the West Lake

Go to 96 Yen Hoa Street. The price of hiring bike is cheap and reasonable here. The regular price is 50.000 VND (US$ 2.2) for 6 hours. That’s a lot of time for bike riding!

Biking around West lake
Biking around West lake

Day 2: Explore Hanoi

What else we should visit today?

2.1 Morning
2.1.1 Visit St.Joseph Cathedral

If you’re interested in French architecture then you must visit St.Joseph Cathedral.

To continue our itinerary, go to Nha Chung Street. St.Joseph Cathedral is located at No 40 of Nha Chung Street, next to Hang Trong garden. You should visit the cathedral in morning since it’s usually closed by noon.

 St. Joseph Cathedra
A corner of St. Joseph Cathedral

Being one of the oldest historical relic of Hanoi—still—St.Joseph Cathedral has the ancient beauty of Hanoi. St. Joseph Catheral has been existed for more than 3 centuries, witness all the change of Hanoi.

The cathedral was designed according to Gothic style (Renaissance) —resembles Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral with high and curvy arch.

Though having an ancient and mysterious on the outside—once you step into the cathedral, you will be surprised by the magnificent and glorious look inside the cathedral.

Now it’s time to grab some food.

2.1.2 Eat local food: Cha ca (fish meatball)

There are many Cha ca restaurant in Hanoi, mostly from the Old Quarter.

One of the best and most popular cha ca restaurant is Cha Ca La Vong at No 14 Cha Ca street. The regular price is 150.000 VND ($7.5)/pax.

Cha ca
Cha ca a must-try dish on 4 days itinerary

Cha ca is the traditional food that everyone living in Hanoi Old Quarter knows about. Cha ca in Hanoi is different from cha ca in other places.

Cha ca Hanoi is made by filtering the best flesh of the fish, then deep fry to make it crispy.

After that, you can eat cha ca with basil, cumin and other spices. It can be served with special shrimp sauce or fish sauce with peanuts on top.

2.2 Afternoon
2.2.1 Visit Museum of Fine art

Go to No 66 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street. The museum opens from 8:30 am—5:00 pm. The ticket price is  10.000 VND (US$0.4)

Then Museum of Fine Art is a must-see place for people who are into the art on the itinerary to explore Hanoi.

Vietnam Museum of Fine Art was built in the 30s of 20th century as a place for daughters of French officers to live in.

Now it is the place to save the cultural and artistic value of Vietnam.

Here in the museum, you can see the statues from the 16th century, exhibits from the 17th century and painting from the 20th century.

Every single exhibits is cherished and arranged beautifully to help the audience taste the best of artistic value.

The best thing you can see national treasure like the statue of Buddha with 327cm of height, paintings from famous painters like To Ngoc Van, Nguyen Sang.

2.2.2. Visit Temple of Literature

Which is the first university in Vietnam?

If you want to the cultural signature of Vietnam then you have to go to Temple of Literature.

Go to 58 Quoc Tu Giam Street. The ticket price will be 30.000 VND (US$ 1.3).

The opening time is:

  • 7:30 – 18:00 from Monday to Friday
  • 8:00 – 21:00 from Saturday to Sunday.

For dress code, no shorts and miniskirts.

Temple of literature
Temple of literature

Temple of Literature in Hanoi is not only a historical place representing the long progress of Vietnamese culture.

It made a big contribution on both Confucian civilization in Vietnam and human culture in the world also.

Temple of literature was ranked as the cultural and historical site on 28th April, 1962.

2.2.3 Eat Local Food: Banh My (vietnamese sandwich)

For the best banh my, you should try Banh My Ngon at no 49 Thanh Street. The price is 25.000 VND (US$ 1.1)/piece.

Banh Mi
Banh Mi is the best sandwich in the world

Banh Mi (Vietnamese sandwich) is considered as one of the most delicious sandwiches in the world.

Banh Mi is delicious and diverse combination of pork, pate and veggies, stuffed into a crunchy baguette.

Other combination of banh my can have head cheese, pork sausage, cucumber and vegetables.

2.3 At Night

2.3.1 Eat street food at Hang Buom

Go to Hang Buom Street. The price will be extremely cheap 15,000-30,000 VND/dish.

Ta Hien Street At night
Ta Hien Street At night

Walking through the Old Quarter and enjoy the street food has now become the habits of Hanoi people on the weekend.

Go through the night market, there are many kinds of traditional food like shells meat ball, sticky rice with grilled bird, grilled meat ball, grilled meat, che,….

Che and juice are the best choice for walking and enjoying at the same time.

You would have plenty of time on 4 days itinerary in Hanoi, so take your time to feel the atmosphere here.

Day 3: Beyond Hanoi

3.1 In the Morning
3.1.1 Visit Trang An – Bai Dinh complex

Since you get plenty of time with the 4 days itinerary, why don’t we go further?

If you want to see the wonder of Vietnam then you have to see Trang An complex.

You should also arrive early at 5 or 6 in the morning to have more time to spend here—since Ninh Binh is 85 km from Hanoi  it would take 2-3 hours to get there.

Once you get to Ninh Binh, you can use taxi or xe om to get to Trang An.

When you get there it’s time to…

Trang An Ninh Binh
Trang An Ninh Binh

Trang An now draws more and more attention to its tourism activities.

With the natural beauty mixed with cultural and historical beauty, Trang an was listed as important heritage of Vietnam and recognized an world heritage by UNESCO in 2014.

The whole place is a beauty of glorious mountains and lengthy rivers connecting with caves—bringing the extraordinary beauty of the scenery.

Coming here, you can not help but absorbing the pure and subtle beauty of nature with the historical value from the mountain, the river, the cave and the jungles.

If you have any question or if you want to book a tour to Trang An, don’t hesitate to ask AZ Local Trip they will answer you in just a minute for any question.

3.1.2 Visit Trang An grottoes

The cruise will take about 3-4 hours and you should also bring along sunscreen and hats. The best time to start the cruise is 8AM

If you want to stand up to take some picture during the cruise, be sure to ask the guide first—since it can be dangerous for people on the boat.

Corner of Trang An grottoes
Corner of Trang An grottoes

It has one of the most breath-taking grottoes in the world. Trang an is famous for having many stalactites which make the atmostphere breezing inside the cave.

It would be one of a kind experience when you can sit on the boat—seeing all kinds of moss and algae under the water and sense the freshness and purity of the environment.

The journey through unique caves like Sang cave, Seo cave, Dark cave, Drunk cave will be an amazing exploration.

The current price is 150.000 VND (US$ 6.5)/pax. The boat can only take 4-5 people at once.

Kids with height less than 1m will get a free ticket.

3.1.3 Eat burned rice and goat meat

Go to Huong Mai restaurant at No 850 Tran Hung Dao Street next to Vissai hotel. The price will be 50,000-150,000/pax

Ninh Binh is also famous for burned rice
Ninh Binh is also famous for burned rice

People often say that “if you come here without eating burned rice and goat meat then you’ve never been to Ninh Binh.”

Goat meat in Ninh Binh is more delicious than other provinces for 2 things:

  • The goat is raised on the mountain, eat many kinds of leaves and herbs – making the flesh more firm.
  • The second is the special method of cooking.

Especially the stir fry goat meat—with the crunchiness and sweetness of the meat—when you eat with other kinds of herbs like basil, cumin it would be extremely delicious.

Along with goat meat, burned rice has become the delicacy of Ninh Binh. If you come here without trying burned rice with goat meat soup then it would be a waste.

Ninh Binh burned rice is mention by many people because of its flavor and crunchiness. Burned rice from Huong Mai is considered the most delicious burned rice in Ninh Binh.

These food you hardly get in another places with the same taste.

3.2 In the Afternoon
3.2.1 Visit Bai Dinh Pagoda

On this 4 days itinerary, we should not miss Bai Dinh Pagoda.

Bai Dinh Pagoda has the most records in Asia and Vietnam—you will be amazed with the numbers of statues and the size of the pagoda.

Take a taxi to Bai Dinh pagoda. Once you come here, the one way ticket will be 30,000 VND/ pax for the distance of 1.5km.

You should must formal clothing before coming into the pagoda. Also bring along water and snacks because the pagoda is very big.

Bai Dinh temple
Bai Dinh temple

Bai Dinh is a pagoda complex includes 2 part:

  • The Old Bai Dinh Complex
  • The New Bai Dinh Complex.

In the old Bai Dinh Complex, you will get to visit:

  • The Dark cave
  • Nguyen temple
  • Cao Son temple.

In the new Bai Dinh there are many national feat you can visit:

  • The biggest golden buddha statue in Asia
  • The biggest La han hall in Asia,
  • The biggest copper bell in Vietnam
  • The most La Han statues in Viet Nam
  • The biggest pagoda in Vietnam
  • The biggest well in Vietnam.

Best way to enjoy Ninh Binh is taking a day trip from Hanoi  Ninh Binh Tours

Notes: Request for advice from AZ Local Trip carefully before booking. Because there are many travel agency providing these day trips.

3.2.3  At Night

You have a long day travelling and moving, it’s time to take a break and rest to prepare for tomorrow.

Don’t be so rush, you still have one more day for your 4 days itinerary

Day 4: Back to Hanoi

Your 4 days itinerary in Hanoi has one day left. Where should we go now?

4.1 In the Morning
4.1.1 Visit Le Mat Snake Village

Coming to Le Mat Snake Village, you will see a lot of snakes.

Take a taxi to Le Mat Street. Le Mat village is located in Long Bien District—it’s 9.7km from Hanoi.

To enjoy best dishes of snake, go to The Hung Restaurant located at 33 Le Mat Street.

The price is 100,000-200,000 VND (US$ 4.4 – 8.7)/pax.

Now in the village there are hundreds of household raising snakes, dozens of snake restaurant and a lot of cultural events about snakes being held annually.

The snakes are brought to the village, tamed and familiarized and now become close like a pet in the household.

Le Mat is considered the Snake trading center in the North, also the most popular snake village of Vietnam.

Tourists coming to Le Mat not only able to visit the snake farm but also touch the non-venomous snakes.

You can also have the chance to see on your own eyes the chefs cooking a snake. The kind of snake that people enjoy the most here is Cobra.

All meals made of snakes are amazing, from snake heart, snake blood, to snake soup, snake sticky rice and stewed snakes.

Many people coming to Le Mat might feel shocked at first but later on find it extremely interesting.

For the afternoon, it’s time to get back to the Old Quarter .

4.2 In The Afternoon
4.2.1 Eat Che and Banh Troi.

Do you have a sweet tooth?

Go to No 1 Bat Dan Street. The price is 15.000 VND to 25.000 VND ($0.75-1) for a bowl of Che.

When we talk about traditional Che, nowhere can serve better Che than Che Ba Thin. Not having the various options like other che—rather sticking with the traditional recipe of Northern Vietnam—Che Ba Thin can still keep the traditional taste of Che.

Traditional che with simply recipe of green and black beans of Northern Vietnam. Nothing could be better than a bowl of che on a cold and breezing weather.

Che - yummy dessert must try in Hanoi
Che is a yummy dessert
4.2.2 Eat Banh Ran

Banh Ran is the kind of fast food that you can find in every where in Hanoi. It’s the vietnamese version of donuts.

Go to Banh Ran Goc Da at No 52 Ly Quoc Su. For normal serving, the price is 50.000 VND/pax.

Banh Ran
Banh Ran is delicous fast food of Vietnam

Banh ran can have a sweet or salty taste, depends on personal preference.

  • Sweet Banh Ran will includes beans and sugar being rolled in a dough then deep fry till the point of crunchiness.
  • Salty Banh Ran will contain pork, jew’s ear and mushroom being deep fried.

Banh Ran Goc Da is the most popular banh ran store. They have been serving banh ran for decades. On regular day, the restaurant is always crowded.

4.2.3 Buy some souvenirs

Want to keep some memory of Hanoi on this special 4 days itinerary?

Want to bring some gifts to friends and family?

There are a lot of things you can buy in the Old Quarter. The Old Quarter has everything for you to buy—many of which contain traditional value of Hanoi.

You can buy Non La (asian conical hat)

Go to Hang Non Street in the Old Quarter.  The price is 30.000 (US$ 1.3) VND/piece

Non la is the familiar image of Vietnamese women though being simple and subtle but also very elegant. Non La can not also be used as a head cover—it also the symbol of Vietnamese farmer.

Non La can be a unique gift and souvenirs from Vietnam.

Street Vender
Street Vender
4.3 At Night

Your 4 days itinerary is nearly end.

Tomorrow you’ll be leaving Hanoi. So it’s better to prepare and take a break for early arrival.

But if you still have some time you can go to Ta Hien or Luong Ngoc Quyen to enjoy some beers there.

 Ta Hien Street at night
People drink beer on Ta Hien Street at night

You will have a great time with local and other foreigners.

So that’s the perfect 4 days itinerary in Hanoi. There are a lot of things you can do in Hanoi with an itinerary 4 days.

Now it’s time to get going.

An exciting journey is right ahead.

 4 days hanoi tour

Quentin Nguyễn


Chuyên mục
Hanoi Itinerary

2 days in Hanoi (2022): Best Itinerary for TWO days in Hanoi

Hanoi 2 days – what to do and see in Hanoi for 2 days

Hanoi, the city offers you an endless number of monuments, museums, cultural events, stores, markets, a surprising nightlife and numerous lively neighborhoods.

Organizing such a short itinerary to cater for all tastes is impossible. Nevertheless, my local 2 Days in Hanoi includes the main monuments, museums, gardens and most important shopping streets in Hanoi.

2 days in Hanoi
2 days in Hanoi

Depending on your preferences, you can spend more time discovering the stores in the city, visiting the museums you find most interesting, relaxing in Hanoian cafe, or strolling through the streets during the following circuit.

You can get a Free Advice on Your Itineary by filling in the form. Local Supporter will contact and help you out with the customized Itineary (Based on your travel style and budget.

I leave it entirely in your hands to experience the most local experience in Hanoi for only 2 days!

2 days in Hanoi itinerary

The first day: The exciting Hanoi

It is up to where you land in Hanoi, you can easily locate yourself inside the heart of city: The Old Quarter

Read more about Best Itinerary for One day in Hanoi

Following my local suggested itinerary, you won’t miss any fascinating moment in just 2 days in Hanoi!

One day in Hanoi Itinerary Summary:

  • Morning: local breakfast and The Old Quarter
  • Afternoon: The French Quarter
  • Night: Hanoi beer, night club, or Water Puppet Show
The Old Quarter - the heart of 2 days in Hanoi
The Old Quarter – the heart of 2 days in Hanoi

If you want to visit all these places and save your time, do not hesitate to go with a local travel buddy who is always willing to give you the truly local experience in Hanoi!

Book a Hanoi Free Walking tours

The Second Day

Option 1: Still be in Hanoi

Bat Trang – A traditional Vilage producing many types of poteries will be one of the top choice

Making pottery in Hanoi
Why not try making pottery in Hanoi?
In the afternoon

Get back for Museums of ethnology, The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is a museum in Hanoi, Vietnam, which focuses on the 54 officially recognised ethnic groups in Vietnam

The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology

Option 2: Ha Long Bay

In the morning

In the morning you can move from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay

If you do not know how to transport from two destinations, you can contact us for supporting you to arrange the best local tour!

Ha Long Bay was gifted with the natural beauty with splendid mountains and thousands of islands, creating a mysterious and dreamy scene.

The place was recognized by UNESCO as world’s heritage and becomes one of the most visited place in the world—attracting thousands of visitors anually.

Halong Bay
The beauty of Halong Bay

Coming here, you get to see a lot of magnificent caves, see stalactites in caves like Thien Cung, Sung Sot and Luon. But that’s not all!

You get to see other attractions like mount Dog, mount Dinh Huong, mount chicken, mount frog… And on top of that, you can get to kayak though Ba Hang village.

But then, where to stay? 

There are a few hotels you can choose including:

  1. Van Nam Hotel: The hotel is located on Vuon Dao Street. The minimum price is $10. This is the perfect choice if you want to save money. With beautiful and convenient view—not to mention friendly service, this is the best choice for medium price.
  2. Alex Hai Ninh Hotel: the hotel is at 28A Anh Dao Street. Located a little bit further from the Bay—the hotels still has good furniture and equipment. The price is about $8-$10. This is a popular choice for tourists. There is no wifi, tv or fridge.
  3. Saigon Halong Hotel: the hotel is located on Ha Long Street, this is a medium price hotel. Among the most rented hotel in Halong. The minimum price is $30. Sometimes the discount can be up to %30, 40%. There are a lot of benefit and support, like of 4 stars and 5 stars hotels like: golf court, swimming pool, spa, massage, tenix, gym.

As you get your accommodation done, now you’re thinking:”What food can i try here?”

Halong Bay is famous for the delicious and fresh seafood like Cu Ky, Be Be, Sa Sung, Ngan, squid. These food are the delicacy of Halong Bay everyone must try.

But then..

Lobster-seafood in Halong Bay
Lobster-seafood in Halong Bay

Where to try these food?

You can go to Vuon Dao Street. There are a lot of restaurants here serving tourists daily. One of the best restaurant is Toan Huong Sea food at No 1 Vuon Dao Street. The price is 50.000-300.000VND ($2.5-15)/pax.

After that you can go back to your hotel, take a small break

In the afternoon

Kayak and sightsee

After on-boarding registration, you will go explore Thien Cung (heaven) Cave.

Have just been discovered since 1993, Thien Cung cave has already been famous with natural beauty just like a heaven. This has been the place that no one should miss when they come to Ha Long Bay.

Kayaking in Halong Bay
Kayaking in Halong Bay

The deeper we go inside, the more amazed we become by witnessing the sparkling and lively beauty of the stalactites. On the cave, the scenery seems like a gigantic painting—in which as we listen to the mystical story of this cave—we can imagine all the characters appearing.

Swimming in Ha Long Bay

Yes, you can definitely relax in the beach in Ha Long Bay.

Hanoi Old Quater
Hanoi Old Quater

To spend less time and explore as much as possible local experience here, book a Hanoi City Tours then get prepared for your time in Ha Long Bay!

Thien Cung cave

The cave is located in the north of Dau Go island, about 4km from the bay.

After that you can go sight see Hon Cho Da (dog island), Hon Ga Choi (Ga Choi island), Hon Coc (Coc island)

Hon Cho Da (Dog island) is a tall island, having the shape like a dog taking guard of the giant gate. The image of a dog taking guard is a familiar scene to vietnamese. In every traditional pagoda and ancient house, there will be 2 stone dogs guarding the gate.

Thien Cung Cave
Thien Cung Cave is the wonder of HaLong Bay

Hon Ga Choi (Fighting Cock island) is 5 km from Bai Chay. After visiting Hon Cho Da, Dinh Lu Huong then you will have the opportunity to see the scenery of Hon Ga Choi with the shape of 2 giants chickens fighting on the sea surface.

Hon Con Coc is 12km from Bai Chay. This island looks like a frog sitting on the surface of the vast water.

Buy souvenirs

Want to keep some memory of Ha Long Bay?

Want to buy some delicacy from Ha Long—so you can enjoy when you get back to Hanoi?

There are diverse types of souvenir to buy in Ha Long Bay. You can buy yourself some dried seafood or handmade craft. The most popular things to buy in Ha Long is dried squid and traditional craft made from sea shell in Ha Long Bay.

Traditional carft in Ha Long
Buy some traditional carft in Ha Long

At night

After a day full of activities, you might be tired. You should take a short nap to come back Hanoi and finish your 2 days in Hanoi with a lot of unforgettable memories.

Or, you are still energetic to end your trip in Hanoi with street performance or a beer Hanoi with locals!

Sing, dance together with locals in street music perfomance

Hanoi is colorful country with a young lifestyle. It is changing every second so that I hope 2 days in Hanoi is enough for you to taste local culture and get in the mood of Hanoian daily life!

If you need any support or want to meet our free local guide, do not delay your passion to travel and hesitate to join a Hanoi Free Local Tours


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Hanoi Itinerary

How Many Days in Hanoi and HaLong Bay | [2022] For First-Time Visitor

If you are new to Vietnam, you’re probably scratching your head wondering “how many days should I stay in Hanoi and HaLong bay”?

We have all been there my friends. Don’t worry.

The North of Vietnam is full of beautiful places and activities – to visit and to do – that it seems intimidating to design a suitable itinerary.

We know that many of you want to visit not only Hanoi and Halong Bay as well.

Get free itinerary Planning to Hanoi, Halong, Ninh Binh, Sapa..

by Hanoi Free Local Tours

How many days to visit Hanoi?

New experiences with local guides
New experiences with local guides

Option 1: 2 Days in Hanoi

2 Days in Hanoi!? Seriously?

  • “It’s impossible.”
  • “It’s way too short.”
  • “I cannot experience everything out of Hanoi.”

It seems that two days is a little bit short – but it could be your optimal choice. There are a lot of tourists coming to Hanoi choose to visit Hanoi in 2 days.

Just 2 days, you might not visit all the must – see places in Hanoi, try all the amazing  street food. But… You will experience the most popular, the most typical, must-try food and must-see attractions.

Pleaces in Hanoi for 2 days : The Old Quarter (Half day) – French Quarter (Half day) – City Discover (Half day)  +  Street foods + Show..

=> The detailed itinerary for 2 days in Hanoi

You will visit the mystical Old Quarter with 36 streets and guides.

Free Old Quarter Walking Tour
Free Old Quarter Walking Tour

You will not miss many beautiful attractions around the Old Quarter – St. Joseph Cathedral, Hoan Kiem Lake, Hoa Lo Prison, Ngoc Son Temple.

2 days will be your optimum choice if:

  • You want to visit places around Hanoi and mostly the Old Quarter.
  • Try a few popular and delicious – dishes and drink.

Then you should go for a 2-day itinerary.

Get ready to have an exciting and fast-moving tour.

Let’s grab your belongings. And just go.

Option 2: 3 Days in Hanoi

Most of the tourist would go for a 3-day itinerary. For the last 2 days, you’ve visited a lot of famous attractions around Hanoi.

But there’re more to see!

In day 3 you can experience most of the famous attractions around the Center of Hanoi – like Army Museum, Thang Long Imperial Citadel and Tran Quoc pagoda.

And if you still have some time

You must visit Bat Trang Pottery Village – to learn how to craft a beautiful pot on your own.

For 3 days in Hanoi you will have chance to see the Bat Trang Village (Traditional Village, Museum of Ethnology).

Itinerary for 3 days in Hanoi

Again, go for a 3-day itinerary if:

  • You want to visit more attractions outside of the Old Quarter and around Hanoi.
  • Have more time to enjoy and relax.
  • If you have 3 days in total 2 days in hanoi 1 day for a day trip to Ha Long Bay or Ninh Binh is recommended. If you have >= 5 days, 3 days in Hanoi would be better.

Option 3: 4 Days In Hanoi

Now you have a decent amount of time here. You can freely and calmly experience everything in Hanoi, enjoy the food, get some drink.

You can plan your last day to visit a few more attractions.

Suggestions are Perfume pagoda or Duong Lam Village (Typical – Old Village in Vietnam), shopping or even try to do something by yourselves. FREE AND EASY day.

What to do in Hanoi for 4 days

 Perfume pagoda
Perfume pagoda

In short, 4 days if you want to:

  • Have a mildly calm and relaxing experience – no need to rush.
  • Have the flexibility in your schedule.
  • Finish the list of popular food in Hanoi – you must try them all.
  • Make time to go shopping in Hanoi before you leave.

So in conclusion.

How many days do you need in Hanoi?

At least 2 days and more more than 4 days will be my recommendation for your travel in Hanoi.

Yes, and if you are worried about travelling or places to go, just contact with AZ Local Trip. This guy will suggest you the most suitable itinerary for you, even if you want to visit Halong Bay.

How Many Days in HaLong Bay

Now, we all know that Ha Long Bay – the most beautiful attraction outside of Hanoi. – It’s a must-see.

It’s a place far away from Hanoi. So 2 days in Ha Long Day is highly recommended, but 1 day is also possible in case your schedule is quite tight ( <=4 days in total)

3 days can be a good choice if you have time. But thinking about visiting Ninh Binh Provice for a day. If it is still not in your plan.

How long to spend in Halong Bay
How long to spend in Halong Bay

Option 1: 1 Day in Ha Long Bay

Only 160 km away from Hanoi – it’s possible for you to visit Ha Long Bay in 1 day. You can find a one-day tour to Ha Long Bay everywhere.

However, when should you make a 1-day itinerary in Ha Long Bay?

You should if:

  • Your time is limited.
  • You want to visit other places. Maybe you want to spend more time in Hanoi. Maybe you want to spend more time in Ninh Binh or Sapa.
  • You want to visit Ha Long Bay only.
Cruising through Ha Long Bay
Cruising through Ha Long Bay

Option 2: 2 Days in Halong Bay

2 days in Ha Long Bay.

After the first day of visiting the Bay, you absorb all the glory of the scenery – the tastiness and freshness of the food.

For day 2, you’ll be visiting Tuan Chau Harbor, it has the most beautiful islands in Ha Long Bay.

Tuan Chau has one of the most beautiful islands in Quang Ninh.

Go to Sung Sot Cave to see the oldest and most beautiful stalacticles in Vietnam

You can enjoy the time with the locals living in Tuan Chau and learn about their culture.

There will be activities like volleyball, soccer, surfing waves with the locals – join with the people if you have some time.

When should you go to Ha Long Bay in 2 days? You should if you want to:

  • Discover attractions in Tuan Chau harbor.
  • Have a little bit time to relax, enjoy the food and the scenery.
  • Discover attraction outside of the Bay like Tuan Chau Harbor.

Option 3: 3 Days in Ha Long Bay 

3 days in Ha Long Bay.

After 160km of traveling – you just want a relaxing and calm experience. You just want a calm and relaxing final day.

What can you do then?

You are into the weather, right? – You can enjoy your day swimming near Bai Chay Beach.

Getting a cyclo going through Bai Chay or a bike ride would be so fun and refreshing.

Want to keep some memory? Get some souvenirs and buy some products from Ha Long. You can shop at Ha Long Night Market – one of the biggest and most crowed night market in ha Long Bay

Or if you want to enjoy some street food? Go to Vuon Dao street to enjoy food on the sidewalk with the local

When should you go for a 3-day itinerary in Ha Long Bay?

You should if you:

  • Don’t have limited amount of time
  • Have a relaxing trip
  • Have one day to rest
  • Have time for shopping
  • Enjoy more activities in the evening

You know what you can do with different itineraries.

To answer the question: “How many days in Hanoi and Ha Long Bay“? – It depends on your personal preference.

Some people have a short and limited amount of time—some have a lot

Some people want a quick and exciting experience—some want to relax and have fun

Find the one that suits you—to make the most out of your time here.

Plan it out.

Now you have your perfect itinerary

Let’s start.

And make it an amazing trip.

Author: Quentin Nguyễn.